The European Physical Journal Special Topics

, Volume 191, Issue 1, pp 105–115 | Cite as

Steady-state solutions of rupture propagation in an earthquake simulator governed by rate and state dependent friction

  • G. ZöllerEmail author
  • S. Hainzl
  • M. Holschneider
  • G.B. Brietzke
Regular article


Earthquake simulators become increasingly important with respect to seismic hazard assessment. It is, therefore, a crucial question whether the imposed simplifications, e.g. reducing fully dynamic to quasi-dynamic rupture propagation, may lead to unrealistic results. In the present study, we focus on the role of rupture velocity v r in an earthquake simulator governed by rate-and-state dependent friction as proposed by [8]. In particular, we investigate the range of possible values of v r within the model. As an end-member scenario, we consider the existence of a steady-state solution of a one-dimensional rupture front propagating with v r on an idealized two-dimensional fault of infinite dimension discretized into uniform cells. We find that, in principle, values of v r between 0 and ∞ are possible depending on the values of slip speed δ0 and pre-stress τ0 ahead of the rupture front. In this view, values of δ0 close to the slip speed during an earthquake δ EQ lead to small values of the time-to-failure and can thus generate ruptures with unrealistic high values of v r , if the model is close to the steady-state conditions. These results are useful to provide constraints for the parameter space of a reasonable earthquake simulator.


European Physical Journal Special Topic Seismic Hazard Assessment Rupture Velocity Rupture Propagation Earthquake Simulator 
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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Zöller
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. Hainzl
    • 2
  • M. Holschneider
    • 1
  • G.B. Brietzke
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of MathematicsPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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